The UFC 249 co-main event was the setting where defending bantamweight king, Henry Cejudo, took on the returning longtime former champ, Dominick Cruz. Cejudo was looking for leg kicks early and often, as Cruz tried to work his classic active footwork. Towards the end of the second round, Cejudo blasted Cruz with a well-timed knee to the face that wobbled him. The champion pounced with a ground attack that sealed deal and kept his throne intact. Riding a six-fight winning streak, in his post-fight interview Cejudo announced that he is retiring from the sport of MMA. It’s rare to see a fighter call it quits while at the top, but it is far better than the typical fashion in which a lot of combat sports athletes fade out.
Cejudo took control of the center of the Octagon right away, and Cruz worked his patented footwork on the outside. The champ started to attack with leg kicks, looking to chop down the challenger and slow down his movement. Cejudo managed to score a takedown, but Cruz urgently scrambled right back up to his feet.
Cruz upped his output with his in and out striking in the second act. Cejudo stuck to his gameplan of kicking the legs. The hands of Cruz began to land, and the frequency of Cejudo’s leg kicks started to lessen. An accidental clash of heads caused a cut on the head of Cejudo. The referee brought the doctor in to take a look before the fight resumed. Just as Cruz was bobbing and weaving looking for an entry, Cejudo clipped him with a knee to the face. Cruz hit the deck and Cejudo jumped on his downed opponent with ground strikes until the referee stopped the fight.
Henry Cejudo def. Dominick Cruz by TKO at 4:58 of round 2: Bantamweight Title
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